Thursday, February 02, 2017

Sewing Happiness world tour

** Deze post lezen in het Nederlands? Klik hier **

The first time I virtually 'met' Sanae was when I accidentally stumbled upon her blog. I don't even remember how I got there, it might be through Pinterest or Bloglovin' of even just through Google, but I do remember my first visit to her blog. Everything, from her pictures to the text and lay-out, made me feel so relaxed and happy.  I immediately read about a hundred posts, just because I couldn't stop.

A few months later I received an e-mail from her, telling me that I had won a sashiko art print she had given away on her blog. I'm still waiting for the perfect frame and spot to hang it, again because it's so tiny and beautiful! I was very grateful for this little gift and kept reading her blog with pleasure. 

That was until I received another mail from Sanae. "Do you want to be part of the Sewing Happiness world tour?" Uhm, yes?! What an honor! Especially when I saw the names of the other participants! I have to admit I was a little starstruck ;)


The book travelled all the way from the US to Belgium and unpacking it felt like opening a treasure box. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful lay-out, just like her blog. From the fabric choices to the illustrations, everything emits a zen-feeling.


If you're a beginner, you'd buy this book because it contains some simple and rather fast projects. If you're a more experienced seamstress, this book is just a treat for the eye and for the soul, remembering you that sewing should not always be difficult. The book is divided into four seasons, each with their own beautiful and timeless projects.


Those of you following me on Instagram might have noticed that I'm going through a tough period with lots of health issues. For the last two years I've been plagued by nausea, pain and an extreme lack of energy, but the cause is still unknown. Often I am not been physically able to sew, which kind of drives me crazy because the ideas and plans keep popping up in my head ;) And when I force myself to realize some of them, the pain withholds me from concentrating and I end up disappointed because I made stupid mistakes. In the end, even looking at my sewing machine made me sad because it reminded me of what I wasn't capable of any more. Needless to say that the simple projects in this book came just in time, right?


I started with two zip pouches as a present for a friend's birthday. The outer fabric is Wandering Lands by April Rhodes for Art Gallery, a leftover I bought from Mieke. On the inside I used a striped jeans and the leather pieces used to be a thrifted handbag before.


I based the sizes on the length of the zippers I had in my stash. I wasn't entirely satisfied with them since the corners are not perfect, but then I remembered that that's exactly what Sewing Happiness is trying to teach us: it isn't about creating the perfect object, but rather about enjoying the process.


After finishing the pouches I felt so happy and relieved because I had finally managed to create something again. So it didn't take long before I cut fabric for my next project!


I use my Nikon almost every day, but actually I had never thought about the ugliness of the original camera strap. Until I saw the book included a tutorial for a custom-made strap, of course. From that moment on I started hating the standard Nikon strap so much that I just had to make my own.


(While sewing, I envisioned blog pictures of myself wearing the blouse and the matching camera strap. That would be so perfect! Of course I hadn't thought about how I would do this, being that we only own one decent camera. Happy the old Lumix was willing to act as a stand-in model ūüėČ)


The fabric is Nani Iro Ori Some double gauze, a leftover from this blouse. To make it soft enough I added batting on the inside and topstitched with a silver thread.  Not very visible on the pictures, which is a pity because it's beautiful! The double gauze has a silver sparkle in it too and combined with the leather it gives the strap a luxurious look.


The Origami pillow and the Everything Bucket are still on my sewing list!

It might sound a little cheap, but this book really changed my life in a positive way. It gave me back my love for sewing and I am so so thankful for that! Thank you so much, Sanae, for sharing your inspiring story with the world!


And you know what's best? I may share this happiness with one of you! Sanae let's me give away a signed copy of Sewing Happiness plus a 45 $ gift voucher at 1000Stoff. To enter, follow withlovebyeva via Bloglovin' and leave a comment here, telling me if and how sewing has helped you through a difficult period. On February 12, I will choose the funniest/most special/... reaction! Make sure to leave your e-mail address if you place an anonymous reaction so I can contact you if you win.

I bet you have already seen all the posts on this tour, since the other bloggers are all such famous and talented ladies! But if you haven't, make sure to pay them a visit. I bet you'll be just as excited as I was to see their wonderful creations.

January 23 - Ute + Lara
January 24 - An of StraightGrain // Instagram
January 25 - Trine of Groovy Baby and Mama // Instagram
January 26 - Shelley of Bartacks and Singletrack // Instagram
January 30 - Annika of Näh Connection // Instagram
January 31 - Olu of Needle and Ted // Instagram
February 1 - Emi of Just Add Fabric // Instagram
February 2 - Eva of With Love - by Eva // Instagram


  1. Oh, how I can relate to the frustration of having many ideas but not the physical strength to sit at the sewing machine! I have a chronic illness that also makes it difficult to sew, and often the brainfog I experience makes it hard to make choices, such as what fabric or pattern to use. I still sew, but it has to be a good day and I can't sew for long stretches. However, sewing and thinking about sewing has kept me sane for the past several years. In fact, my best skill these days is planning and thinking about sewing! I can think about beautiful fabric and cute notions and patterns even when I'm lying in my bed :). The desire to sew has increased as my ability to get out and do other normal activities has decreased. It's a way I can feel productive and a way I can show love to my family and others. And getting pretty packages of fabric in the mail has been a boost when I can't go to fabric stores and given me some distraction and fun. Now, when a package arrives, my family members say, "It's sewing stuff" even before I open it! I hope you have some good sewing days, too, Eva.
    3dears (at) gmail (dot) com

    2 February 2017 at 13:08

    1. This is such a touching story! Brain fog is exactly the right word, it explains so well how I feel most of the time too. Thank you very much for sharing, and I wish you all the best!

  2. Eva! So glad I found your blog! This is the great thing about blog tours, is always nice to get in touch and discover the work of great people. I'm sorry to hear that you are not feeling good, the only humble thing i can say is that I'm way better and without brain fog now because I started to follow Dr William Davis and Dr Perlmutter books. Take a look at them on Amazon and on the Wheat Belly blog, you'll find many interesting things. Maybe it will not work for you but is good to know anyway. I'm wheat free now and being Italian this is kind of a great achievement! I do not sew very often but I would love to spend a lot more time doing it. I'm a beginner and just like to make simple things for me. I still need to sew a real garment piece for myself! Whenever the house is empty I find my solace in choosing fabric and pattern and just create something pretty and useful. San Ishida is a wonderful designer, I have been following her blog since she published the famous Ikea blouse! Wish you the best!

    1. I'm so happy you found my blog! That's what I love about blog tours too :) Thank you for your sweet comment and for the tip about living wheat-free. I've heard this from several people the past few weeks so I think I should read some more about it!

  3. What a lovely blog post! - I wouldn't have thought of the practical problem of photographing my own camera either, but now I know I want to replace that ugly yellow/black Nikon strap with some blue and silver Nani Iro just like yours! (don't worry about entering me in your giveaway)
    Shelley xx

    1. Well, you'll face the same problem when you'll be blogging about your strap then! ;) But I love it, every time I take my camera out it makes me feel happy.

  4. I love Sewing Happiness. As I approached and passed through, recuperated from a double mastectomy sewing my own bras helped me get to say goodbye to the old, and allowed me to get to know my new boobs.
    Now, with a potty training 3 year old I am making and loving the underwear I wash every night. I can't imagine how hard it is to like store bought poppy pants. Lol.

  5. Wow, you've been sewing such cool and useful items!


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